Checklist For Raising a Kid

Checklist For Raising a Kid

Climbing an alpine towerI have a mental checklist for raising a kid.  It  encompasses most of the skills that they will need as an adult, so that they can navigate the world.  Those genres include banking, cooking, sewing, cleaning, and car maintenance.  In this blog post, I’ll put together a list of items I am trying to teach my kids, and let’s see if you can add more.


  • Attend church regularly and become part of a religious community
  • Serve as an acolyte or similar
  • Volunteer to serve the church and community


  • Climbing an alpine tower
  • Hiking
  • Riding a bike
  • Swimming the length of the pool, treading water for 5 minutes
  • Self Defense


  • Pitching and taking down a tent
  • Starting a camp fire
  • Cooking over a camp fire
  • Being able to identify local plants, and especially poisonous ones
  • Identify local snakes, and know which ones are poisonous
  • Go fishing
  • Handle a gun safely- they are not toys

Home Care

  • Change a bed
  • Clean a bathroom, including toilets, sinks, counters, and shower area
  • Sweep floors
  • Vacuum floors
  • Mop Floors
  • How to dust
  • How to wash a window (with windex and old newspapers)
  • Do Laundry and put it away
  • Put away your stuff
  • Change a light bulb
  • Unclog a toilet
  • Hang a picture
  • Use a drill, screwdriver, hammer, and other basic tools
  • Paint a room
  • Pull weeds
  • Water plants


  • Be able to make a set number of meals, including things like rice, pasta, eggs, veggies, meats, and some baked goodies
  • Know how to clean dishes
  • Load and Unload the dishwasher
  • Understand proper handling of a kitchen knife, including how to sharpen one
  • Know how to put out a kitchen fire properly.

Car Care

  • Jump start a battery
  • Check oil and fluid Levels, be able to add fluids if necessary(bonus points for changing oil and filter)
  • Change a flat tire
  • Keeping a car clean
  • Put gas in the car


  • Set up an online account, and be able to access that account
  • Check your balance
  • Write a check
  • Pay a bill
  • Use a credit card, and why they aren’t free money
  • The difference between a debit and credit card


  • Sew on a button
  • Call someone on the phone, and be able to communicate what you’d like to do (a store, a contractor, place an order, etc)
  • Navigate online registrations for things like classes
  • Respect others, and be kind to everyone, no matter that they don’t deserve it

What about you?  What are you trying to teach kids before they fly the coop?

3 Responses

  1. Not that I have any children… but here are a few things that I learned that I thought were important later on:

    How to find a circuit breaker and be able to do minor rewiring – new switches/outlets/light fixtures.

    Basic kitchen safety – don’t cut raw meat on a veggie cutting board. How to properly defrost, cool, store food so that you don’t get sick etc.

    How to declog a sink or bathtub drain not using drano and put it back together again so it doesn’t leak everywhere.

    How to light a pilot light (water heater, fireplace etc).

    How to change a propane tank on a grill. Or, if you are dealing with charcoal – how to light a fire, determine it is ready and dispose of it properly.

  2. Sel says:

    These are great; we are well on the way to many of them. genius to make them pump gas! I borrowed from your recent blog post tonight & made #1 son fill out the medical form to participate in fall baseball. We won’t do the gun thing, not necessary/potentially dangerous in our suburban world. Boys scouts gives a rudimentary knowledge there, and that will be it. I like their focus on service projects too. To physical achievements I would add some form of aerobic exercise + strength training +\- flexibility. Thanks for being a mama role model!

  3. Jennifer says:

    Love these! Some additional ones I’m trying to incorporate with mine:

    *Time management, learning how to budget time and accomplish tasks before college/job begins
    *Long- and short-term planning, including setting goals and even planning meals
    *Accountability/responsibility for action and non-action, not blaming others and admitting wrongdoing
    *Manners (in tandem with respect that you included), making it second nature to say please, thank you, and yes ma’am/sir
    *Self-awareness, learning and understanding how her individual body functions, what triggers different emotional or physical reactions, and how to deal with them
    *Budgeting, learning how to budget for both regular bills and once-in-a-while expenses (car tags, trips, gifts, etc.) and understanding that money doesn’t flow freely
    *Resolve situations and have difficult conversations with people–aka interpersonal skills, learning how to speak with someone in a difficult/uncomfortable situation without attacking, accusing, or confrontational

    I’m sure I have more I could come up with…but in the meantime I’m bookmarking this post for future reference. 🙂

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